Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections over its push for independence.
The prime minister said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to “recover normality” in the region.
He is also firing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet.
Earlier, the Catalan parliament unilaterally voted to declare independence.
Mr Rajoy made the announcement following a frantic day of developments in the row over Catalan independence.
The Spanish Senate granted Mr Rajoy’s government the constitutional power to suspend Catalan autonomy, and after a cabinet meeting Mr Rajoy spelled out what that would entail.
Promising “free, clean and legal” elections, he called the situation “sad”, saying: “We never wanted to come to this.”
The elections are scheduled for 21 December. Mr Rajoy also announced the sacking of the Catalan police chief.
After the Catalan parliament voted to declare independence, thousands took to the streets to celebrate.
Separatists say …
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